Ayogi in the Spotlight: Adam Vernon

adam software developer 04/14/2016

Q&A with an Ayogo Cognitive Scientist turned Software Developer

cognitive scientist turned software developer
Name: Adam Vernon
Title: Software Developer, Ayogo Health Inc.
Fun Fact: A Glaswegian man once approached me in the street to reveal he’d recently removed one of his fingers. This may or may not be related to my decision to move thousands of miles away.
Hobbies: Playing guitar, running, and learning to draw/design
Personal Website: akineticblog.com

Each month we place an Ayogi in the spotlight. This month meet Adam Vernon, a cognitive scientist turned software developer. Adam uses his expertise in gameplay programming, interface development, and programmatic animation on the web stack to bring our applications to life!

A native of Glasgow, Adam received his master’s degree from the University of Edinburgh. His initial interest in Artificial Intelligence and psychology led him to the cognitive science program which provided greater flexibility to develop skills in computer science and linguistics. Upon graduation he worked for several years building online apps and games on the Flash platform before transitioning to open web technologies. “Flash had a great and lengthy run, and was the only option for rich media and web applications for many years. Shortly after the first iPhone emerged however, the mobile market exploded and Flash was not a part of Apple’s mobile web strategy. Thankfully, many aspects of the HTML5 spec were becoming supported in browsers at that time, and it was possible to build comparable apps using only JavaScript, HTML and CSS.”

In 2014 he left his hometown to move to Vancouver. His software development experience and cognitive science degree made him a perfect fit for Ayogo. Adam works as a client-side programmer, developing web and mobile apps with an emphasis on minigames and the game-like interfaces of our products. “I wanted to join a company where I could make friends, learn a lot, and build awesome things. Check, check, and check!”

Adam’s artistic side is a bit of a revelation. He once won a school talent show by singing and playing a song he had written. And, when we learned about his recent art project, creating one piece daily for 100 days, he responded in a familiar self-deprecating manner: “I survived, and am the proud author of 100 crummy, rushed pieces of art.”

Q: What are you hoping to achieve while at Ayogo?

Although the focus of my work is more on fun content than behaviour change, I want to help make our software as intrinsically engaging as possible, so that the behavioural science behind our products can work to their full potential.

Q: In your opinion, what is the biggest challenge in creating behaviour changing software for the healthcare industry?

The constantly shifting technological landscape probably creates the biggest challenge for me personally. As developers, we have to balance performance, compatibility and maintainability within that environment. Devices, design constraints and tech standards are always in flux, so our work needs to be adaptable and continually adapted!

Q: What advice do you have for those looking to start their career in Software Development?

Attending university certainly helped to focus my interests, and I’d say that the most significant gains in becoming a successful developer come through sitting down, making mistakes and finding solutions for yourself. Follow your nose to the areas that interest you and build something you’d like to use! Don’t worry too much about particular languages or technologies because they’re always changing, and the core skills will transfer. Also, don’t be disheartened if you feel confused often because that’s just part of the job—at every level!

Want to work with Adam? Check out our Career page!
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